[Talk-GB] Complaining about refs on roads again!

Andy Allan gravitystorm at gmail.com
Tue Apr 30 18:45:18 UTC 2013

On 30 April 2013 19:21, Robert Whittaker (OSM lists)
<robert.whittaker+osm at gmail.com> wrote:
> I would still maintain that it is appropriate to use the ref key for
> such reference numbers. Internal or not, it's still the primary
> official reference number for that stretch of road. I would argue that
> the "problem" with the numbers being displayed on the map is more of a
> rendering issue.

I heartily disagree.

There are clearly two "types" of road reference numbers used in the
UK. One type of reference is used publicly on signs, on atlases, and
people expect to see them. Another type is rarely seen by members of
the public, and of only very niche interest. They are different and we
should acknowledge this.

It's very, very easy for us to say "For highways in the UK, only use
the ref tag for motorways, A and B roads". It's the principle of least
surprise - all around the world, people are using ref tags on highways
to show the reference that members of the public expect to see.

It's only some high level of pedantry that would suggest there's no
difference between "A14" and "UW2093". Sure, it's possible to claim
it's a rendering issue, but in reality it's not. It's a
misinterpretation of what the ref tag, when used on highways, is for.

I'd appreciate it if we can all accept the most sensible position, and
move these non-public references to a different, non-clashing tag.


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